Micro MIM

Precision and Complexity on a Small Scale

Replica of the smallest human bone (stirrup) from stainless steel 316L
© Fraunhofer IFAM
Replica of the smallest human bone (stirrup) from stainless steel 316L
Bone marrow stem cells on metallic microstructured surface; hemisphere diameter is 50 µm
Bone marrow stem cells on metallic microstructured surface; hemisphere diameter is 50 µm
Photo catalytic coated micro reactor applied for water purification; 26 channels each 250 µm
© Fraunhofer IFAM
Photo catalytic coated micro reactor applied for water purification; 26 channels each 250 µm

The miniaturization of components and functional surfaces requires high geometrical precision of the manufacturing process.

Micro metal injection molding (µ-MIM) offers new opportunities for reliable and reproducible series production of micro-components for a wide range of applications. Freedom of design and materials allows economically viable product solutions for the medical technology, biotechnology, and electronics industries.

Micro-components with ultra-small dimensions


Micro metal injection molding allows components having ultra-small dimensions to be manufactured.

A prime example is a replica of the smallest bone in the human body, which is the stirrup in the ear. It features a diameter of 1.4 mm and a thickness of 280 µm. This is, however, just one example of what micro injection molding can offer. The smallest component produced at Fraunhofer IFAM is an electronic component with a side length of below 250 µm.

Microstructuring – ultra-fine structures


Micro injection molding also allows ultra-fine structures to be realized on macroscopic components. For example, microstructured surfaces are being manufactured which can be used as microfluidic systems for microanalysis or as structured surfaces for influencing surface functionality, for example cell adhesion on medical implants, wear resistance or heat dissipation.

Depending on the material used and the cavity, geometries having a diameter of just a few microns and true-to-shape can be manufactured.

 

 

Potential dimensions:

• Structure size      < 10 µm

• Thickness            < 300 µm

• Aspect ratio         up to 16:1

• Density               > 99%

• Tolerance            < 1% for 2 mm structure size